We all want to improve digestion, healing the gut is a hot topic. We might reach for the ginger, apple cider vinegar, digestive enzymes or HCL supplement. We rarely think that the first thing we should be looking at is water.
Making sure we are hydrated by consuming pure clean water daily - depending on weight, activity and climate should be the first priority. For me, I try to drink at least two litres of plain water daily. Digestion is a water-intensive process. Water is needed for saliva, Hydrochloric acid, bile, pancreatic enzymes. All of these substances that get shuttled to different parts of our GI tract at different times to digest food require water.
The mucus lining in our entire GI tract also requires water to be able to protect the sensitive tissue from potent digestive juices and chemicals, the mucus basically stops us digesting ourselves. When we are dehydrated, water in the body may be prioritised away from digestion and the mucus lining may become dry. This can lead to poorly digested food and an inability to absorb nutrition from what we eat. A dried up mucus lining may lead to irritation, GI or stomach pain and even ulcers.
Water is the most common nutritional deficiency.
We spend plenty of time discussing food quality, sourcing and organics. We probably spend too much time discussing the latest supplements. But we can only survive for a couple of days without water. After air, it is our second key nutrient. We are made of water and it is used in countless processes and reactions within the body.
For optimal digestion, it should be the first thing to focus on. Water should be the first thing we have in the morning and then sipped on throughout the day. It is also important to avoid having large amounts of water with meals because it will dilute stomach acid and enzymes. Another point to be mindful of is diuretics, we all love coffee and tea but they may sap water from our bodies. So let’s focus on hydration as the first step in healing our digestion and maybe the outcome will surprise us.